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Diving through the odds—World Series and otherwise

Colorado Rockies news and links for Saturday, December 26, 2020

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2020 defied the odds on a global scale in a negative manner. Here’s to a 2021 that can defy them for the better—in both public health and professional baseball.

BetMGM says the Rockies have the fifth-worst odds to win the World Series (+8000), tied with the Marlins, Orioles, Giants, Tigers and Mariners. Of those five teams, only the Marlins had a winning record in 2020.

The news may be less in the Rockies’ odds themselves, and more in the fact that oddsmakers have put 2020’s mark on repeat. Luke Mullins of Rox Pile puts it frankly: “Bud Black stated [in a recent conference call] that he still believes this team is a contender and, while to most fanbases that would be good news, to many Rockies fans, it sounds like the same repeated talking points we have heard the last two years.” The Rockies preseason lines for a World Series title this year are at the 80/1 mark like they were last December.

The Dodgers have the best World Series odds in baseball. Their +400 line puts them ahead of the second-place Yankees at +600, and in front of the third-place Braves, White Sox and Padres at +1000. It can be disheartening for Rockies fans to see two NL West teams in the league’s top five, but other odds within the division (Giants, +8000, Diamondbacks, +10000) suggest the Rockies aren’t in abandoned territory. The Pirates round out the 30th spot in the league at +15000.

(A note on odds format: a +8000 line means that for every $100 wagered, $8,000 would be returned on a winning ticket. A contrary -8000 line would mean every $8,000 wagered would return $100 on a win.)

The current marks aren’t uplifting for Rockies fans, but a series of key events could tip the betting scale. Who would have thought the Rockies would have been the only team to take down the Dodgers in a series this year, or Charlie Blackmon would flirt with .400 early in the season, or Daniel Bard would even take the mound again? What if several like events can line up—and the Rockies can work the odds like they have done before?

According to Sports Odds History, the 2007 Rockies had a +7500 chance at winning the Series in the ‘preseason’. Colorado had six consecutive losing seasons leading up to 2007 and the streak was snapped in grand fashion.

The Rockies worked their way up to a +3750 mark early in the 2020 season, so the lines are certainly subject to change. The Nationals had a +1600 preseason mark that dipped as low as +6250 during their 2019 championship season.

Other teams have it a little differently; the 2020 Dodgers never dipped below +500 on their path to the Commissioner’s Trophy. Their current odds of +400 haven’t been bested by the Rockies since Todd Helton caught the final out of the 2007 NLCS (+200 to Boston’s -240).

Sports Odds History says the best preseason odds ever for the Rockies came in 1996 (+1500), just one year after their first playoff appearance. The worst preseason mark was in 1993, where the Rockies had a lofty +50000 mark in their inaugural season. (Imagine putting $100 down and then seeing Eric Young Sr. go yard to kick off Opening Day.)

Bettors aren’t thinking highly of the 2021 Rockies, but it doesn’t negate the (perhaps unwritten) lines that really matter. Baseball in any form is better than no baseball at all, which is exactly the lesson 2020 can teach us. Perhaps a more important measurement than Colorado’s +8000 is the extent in which we will enjoy our Rockies in the coming months.

Here’s to that extent being safely at the ballpark.

(Current odds courtesy of BetMGM; historical odds courtesy of Sports Odds History)

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What Was the Highest Point for Every MLB Team in 2020? | Bleacher Report

“On the heels of their 91-loss effort in 2019, not much was expected of the Colorado Rockies at the outset of 2020. But they—and Charlie Blackmon, specifically—had a surprise in store.”

The Rockies led the NL West after 30 percent of the 2020 season. A steep cliff ensured (14-28), but the season start in July and early August was high times for baseball-deprived Rockies fans. Charlie Blackmon was the top performer in Colorado’s lineup at the beginning of the season, his performance strong enough for a “Mr .400” T-shirt after his hot start.

Former Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber could be a perfect fit for the Rockies | Cubbies Club (Fansided, Chicago Cubs)

“According to Colorado Rockies manger Bud Black, the team is looking to add a bat either in the outfield or at first or second base this offseason.”

The Texas Rangers received 26-year-old David Dahl at a discounted rate; he is set to receive less money next year than 35-year-old Daniel Bard. If a quiet market is any indicator, perhaps the 27-year-old Schwarber could round out the Rockies lineup in a similar, discounted manner. A Rockies front office that didn’t pay for Dahl may be unwilling to lure in Schwarber for similar financial reasons, however. Schwarber has been projected to make well over $5 million next year, while Dahl signed for $3 million in Texas.

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